How To Provide Security for Your Family
December 9, 2022
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Life is risky. Unexpected events can throw you the proverbial curve ball at any moment. When you have a family, you have to be extra prepared to handle life's curveballs. Planning ahead and taking certain measures can provide your family with security in difficult times, so start today with a few of the following ideas.
Have Enough Insurance
One of the first things you should check as you think about security is whether or not you have enough insurance. Go over your life insurance plan, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, your health insurance, and your auto insurance. Look closely at the details of each plan, and know exactly how much you're paying. You may want to talk to an agent about bundling policies or adding more coverage. Make sure that you have adequate personal liability coverage included in your package, too.
Set a Budget
Next, be sure that your family has a set budget. This can increase everyone's financial responsibility and reduce excess spending. Gather the whole family together, and go over income and expenses. Notice whether your family is in the black or in the red, and ask for suggestions about how to balance better. You may have to make a few cuts in your expenses, and everyone should be willing to make some kind of sacrifice, whether it is an extra “treat” or a couple meals out per month. Look closely at streaming subscriptions and cell phone plans, too, and see if you can make any adjustments there. Balancing your family's budget now can lead to greater financial confidence and security in the future.
You must also make an effort to reduce your family's debt. As part of your budgeting session, list out your family's current debts. Include balances, interest rates, monthly payments and any other pertinent information. Then come up with some ideas to reduce debt more quickly. This might include sacrificing some non-necessities to increase monthly payments. You might look into consolidating debt and limiting credit card use as well. Again, include the whole family in this conversation so that everyone is aware of the issues and willing to contribute to becoming debt-free.
Save for the Future
At the same time, you might talk to your family about saving for the future. If you already have a savings account, CDs or other investments, list these, and take a close look at current balances and interest rates. See if you can move your savings into better accounts that may pay a little more without adding risk. Also, introduce your family to a savings challenge to boost your accounts. You might follow the 52-week money challenge or another such plan. Make sure the kids understand the value and importance of saving and the necessity of sacrificing something in the present to prepare for a secure future.
Make a Will
If you and your spouse do not currently have a will, now is the time to make one. Start by researching the requirements for wills in your state. You may find some templates online, but make sure they meet the requirements. Discuss the provisions you want to make with regard to your home, finances and personal possessions. If your children are young, you should include a clause designating a guardian for them. Also, select an executor, but make sure you get permission. Some people do not care to take on the responsibility. When all the provisions are complete, you will need to ensure that the will is properly signed, notarized and legally valid. Again, check the rules for your state, and follow them closely. Make more than one copy so that your will is easily accessible in case of an emergency.
It is never too early to start planning for and taking active steps toward your family's future security. Having enough insurance, getting your finances in order (including budgeting, reducing debt and increasing savings) and making a will are all important aspects that you should get started on now.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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